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MEET THE TEAM

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Meet The Team

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George Lazarou

Director / Founder / Coach

George is one of Australia's leading youth development coaches with a distinguished Australian National Soccer League (NSL) career in Australia. After a successful career in Australian football, Lazarou graduated into the competitive football coaching environment. In the last decade, George Lazarou has evolved AYFI into a well recognised football learning and development centre in Sydney Olympic Park. He has an exceptional record for developing talented youth players suitable for national, state and international competition. Lazarou has developed AYFI teams that are annually invited to play in some of the biggest tournaments around the world, as well as against some of the best youth football development teams in the world including Australia, UK, and the USA. He currently holds a FFA'B Advanced Accreditation Senior Coaching Licence.

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Phil McMullen

Head of Football

Phil is a highly experienced coach who was worked at every age level. As well as working with the NSW junior representative team and assisting the director of coaching for North Coast, Phil spent ten years coaching at Blacktown City and the West Ham Academy. During this time at Blacktown City Phil led his team to several grand finals, which also seen the team being voted as Greater Western Sydney Sports Team of the Year.

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Juan Carlos Heras Romero

Head Coach

Juan Carlos began playing Football at the early age of 7 when he represented professional La Liga Club Sevilla F.C. Throughout his football career Juan Carlos has played at elite levels in Spain, America and now here in Australia. Whilst playing at a high level in Spain through his youth he was offered a Soccer Scholarship to attend Missouri Valley College to pursue his football and education in the United States. America brought our head coach many illustrious awards such as ALL- AMERICAN which is a selection of the top best 11 players in the country, he won two Conference tittles with his team, Golden boot in 2015, and was also nominated to be a part of the HALL OF THE FAME in the State of Missouri. During his three years in United States, Juan Carlos not only obtained football achievements, he also completed his degree in Sport Management. He moved to Australia with the desire of pursuing his football and coaching career and is currently playing for St. George F.C who operate in the National Premier League 2 and has recently been named PLAYER OF THE YEAR, a true reflection of his ability to succeed in all things football. Juan Carlos aside from being a player, has been coaching for many years gaining many achievements. Juan Carlos' team claimed the Youth League National Tournament title in Spain during 2012. He also attains coaching qualifications of a high standard both in Spain and Australia as he utilises his wealth of knowledge and experience to develop youth players.

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Hermes Pallotta

Sports Science and Dietetics

Hermes moved from Italy to Australia with a strong passion for football. As a teenager, he began coaching from a young age for various academies having gone through the academy system himself. However, a substantial injury forced him out of the game and set him on a path to correct deficiencies and injuries in other footballers. Hermes believes in the holistic approach to developing a footballer, which includes the technical, psychological, physical and nutritional components. He has therefore completed a Bachelor degree in Sport science, specialising in strength and conditioning, and a Master in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is a registered Dietitian with the aim of educating youth on healthy eating and performance nutrition. He has also worked with both semi-professional football clubs and with elite youth squads as a strength and conditioning coach to develop speed, power and agility.

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Brendan Leong

Sport Science

Brendan is a Sport Scientist in AYFI's Athlete Development and High Performance department. Recently completing his Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science. He assists in the development and execution of the strength and conditioning element of training in the 40 week, Homebush Boys High, and National Institute of Football programs, under the guidance of Arthur Kazas. Through his school years, Brendan competed at national level sprinting. In recent years, he has dipped into the world of competitive weight lifting and powerlifting.

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Anthony Tugrul

Personal Assistant to George Lazarou and Coach

Anthony, recently completed his Bachelor's Degree in Sports Coaching & Administration with the Australian College of Physical Education. In regards to his footballing career Anthony has been involved with senior football for over seven years, two of which have been coaching. After retiring from playing football Anthony has been an assistant coach at Wollongong United Football Club. During the past two years at Wollongong United, Anthony has been heavily involved in their video analysis department. In 2015 Anthony was apart of the coaching staff for the first grade squad that won the league and cup, grand final double. 


Other Qualifications includes:

  • Diploma in Health and Fitness (Shellharbour TAFE).
  • Certificate III and IV in Fitness (Shellharbour TAFE).
  • Level 1 in Sports Code.
  • Has completed the Football NSW Skill Training Certificate

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Danielle Hone

Sales & Marketing Executive / Coach / Zumba Instructor

Danielle is currently completing her Bachelor Degree in Business Sports Management at Torrens University Australia where she is learning the fundamentals of Business within the Sports Industry. Danielle applies her knowledge through marketing as she strives to contribute to the growth and success of the AYFI. Danielle is also a graduate of numerous AYFI Programs which lead her to play in the National Premier League 1 here in Australia, it also earned her a scholarship to play Football in America which further lead her to play in Spain. Danielle holds a grassroots coaching certificate which qualifies her to use her Footballing experiences and knowledge to further develop youth players. In addition to this, Danielle is also a passionate Zumba enthusiast who currently holds her Basic1 Zumba Instructor Certification. Behind that certification, Danielle holds a great amount of experience teaching large classes of various ages both here in Sydney, Australia and also in Spain. Danielle is currently studying: 

  • Bachelor of Business, Sports Management

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Patrick Ferrara

Goal keeper coach

Patrick has played at an elite level in Australia throughout his career, playing at NSW National Premier League Level. Patrick attains an extensive knowledge of goalkeeping which has been further enhanced through his playing experiences and from training with professionals. Patrick's qualifications include:

  • Masters in Education Studies (Sports Coaching)
  • Graduate Certificate in Education Studies (Sports Coaching)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration 
  • Associate Degree in Business Specialising in Sport Management
  • Completed Australian Sports Commissions Community Coach Training Program
  • Completed FFA Youth Coaching License



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Nick Matsias

Physiotherapy

Graduated from University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of health science/ Masters of Physiotherapy. Has a thorough understanding of football injuries and football injury prevention. Nick has played football at a representative level. He has past experience working with the junior and senior grades of Sydney Olympic, Bankstown Berries and Stanmore Hawks football clubs. Nick is an ART and SFMA certified therapist. Nick works at Mend Physio in Kingsgrove.

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Chris Matsias

Physiotherapy

I am a physiotherapist with over 25 years experience in private practice and as a team physiotherapist. I am focused and passionate about achieving optimal health and wellness solutions for football players. I feel that I have a great opportunity to assist players with maximising their health and fitness potential and concurrently minimising injury risk. I achieve this utilising the Functional Movement Systems approach. I am a FMS, SFMA, McKenzie and ART Full Body certified therapist. I am an expert in the injury prevention, particularly football related. Away from the clinic I am a over 45s footballer and gym enthusiast.

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Dumitru Stoica

Football Assistant / Equipment Manager

Dumitru manages equipment for all games and training sessions and is responsible for the transportation of the players. Dumitru's logistical work enables the football side of the business to run seamlessly. 

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Anastasia Kalas

H.R. / Administration / Accounting

Ana effectively controls and manages all office administration, human resources and financial aspects of the business through applying her knowledge and skills attained through her many accreditations:

  •  Diploma of Accounting
  •  Certificate IV in Business Administration 
  •  Certificate III in Business Management